Find fantastic ideas for things to do on a Friday, just in case you've left it to the last minute. Check out the best entertainment, nightlife and events happening in the capital this Friday. The weekend starts here...
This community-run eight-day festival will bring some extra colour to Brockley with a range of artistic events and activities. Share your food memories in a mural with food-loving artists Gourmandizing (May 30), discover knitted street art with Deadly Knitshade (Jun 2) and find out how graffiti became art in a talk by aerosol writer The Artful Dodger and anthropologist David Holloway (Jun 4).Read more
A monthly late opening of the museum and temporary exhibitions, with free entry to the Central Hall and Images of Nature gallery, changing discussions on timely themes, open-mic performances by up-and-coming musicians throughout the evening, and British farmers’-market-style food and drink in the pop-up restaurant. Themes for each monthly discussion change; see the museum website for details of forthcoming discussions, which are bookable in advance.Read more
From the team behind last year’s Soho Flea Market comes the Embankment Summer Market, which brings together artisans, fashion designers and musicians – not to mention plenty of food and drink, a farmers’ market and family entertainment. City Showcase have curated a winning selection of over 180 stalls: look out for contemporary jewellery from Maya Magal, colourful babywear from We Are Scamp and handmade homewares from Annette Bugansky. The delicious street food line up includes The Cheese Truck, The Duck Truck and Saltwood Fish Bar. it's a not-for-profit event in support of The Connection at St Martin’s charity, which helps homeless people in Central London.Read more
If, like garishly face-painted ’80s rockers KISS, you just love to rock and roll all nite, Rockaoke is clearly the gig for you. Wail and shriek through tons of rock and punk classics, plus a bit of pop and indie if you’re more Mumford than Metallica. And don’t worry if your air guitar needs re-stringing: at Rockaoke you’re backed by a four-piece live band who’ll riff and tub-thump you through your chosen anthem. Just remember not to strain that pelvis while you're holding a serious rock lunge as you're tearing into Boston’s ‘More than a Feeling’.Read more
The annual London Improvathon – which is now in its eigth year – features 50 hours of continuous made-up-on-the-spot funnies from 20 actors plus guest artists. This year, the team are planning on improvising a whole 25-episode soap opera, all set in Hollywood. For those prepared to go the whole hog, a 50-hour pass is on sale. Or if you'd prefer to pop along for an hour or two, tickets are available for each episode (two hours). The show runs from 7pm on Friday May 29 right through to 9pm on Sunday May 31.Read more
Last year, Ryoji Ikeda Darth Vader-ed the bejesus out of London’s night sky. ‘Spectra’, the Japanese artist’s beam of light which scorched the skyline as part of the WWI centenary, became one of the most talked-about artworks of 2014. It’s a tough act to follow – and you wouldn’t think that filling the top floor of a car park with an installation based on particle physics would come close, but it really does. ‘Supersymmetry’ is inspired by Ikeda’s time as artist-in-residence at CERN, the Swiss supercollider that is smashing particles into each other in the hope of answering some of the questions posed by modern physics. But you don’t need a degree in quantum mechanics to enjoy what Ikeda has created. The first room is pitch-black, and dotted with waist-height light boxes covered in tiny ball bearings. They tilt and swivel, sending the balls flying across their surfaces like a flock of mechanical starlings. The light boxes strobe and pulsate. More lights flicker from the other room. As you walk through, you find a long corridor lined with a bank of monitors. Beams of light dash across them, graphs of data appear and disappear at speed, and speakers beneath them squeal and rumble. The images in this hallucinatory room veer between random computerised chaos (jumbled data, graphs and nonsensical sentences) and calm, spiralling visions of drifting dots. It’s like being stuck in a storm in a computer. But the main sensation is that of an impenetrable mass of information. FigureRead more
Including the works of Herbert Ponting, Slim Aarons and Thurston Hopkins, this show celebrates large-scale photographic prints. With the ability to seize the most microscopic as well as the most enormous aspects of life, photography continues to be awe-inspiring and what better way than magnifying the magnificence of this medium with truly monumental images.Read more
This is one slick show – quite literally. The gallery floor is so slippery that you have to tread carefully to keep from falling over as you make your way across a surface densely strewn with thousands of glossy, loose sheets of paper. Every page is identically printed on both sides with a photograph of footprints in mud. It’s a kind of conceptual joke by Jack Lavender. The young London artist is using images of real ground to create a wholly artificial surface. The shiny pages don’t retain any footprints, of course, but the way they slide around mimics mud’s slimy instability. This sort of playing with reproductions and ersatz versions is everywhere in this exhibition. A solitary wall assemblage features plastic bones and glass bunches of grapes affixed to a rusting iron support, while at the other end of the room crumpled sheets of steel contain imitation wooden branches and metal casts of onion rings. Gradually, the feeling you get is of the natural world being incorporated and commodified – until any feeling of naturalness is lost, and all that’s left is absurd, chintzy artifice. Of course, it’s hardly a revelatory idea that we’re all becoming increasingly alienated from nature. But Lavender is good at alluding to the anxieties beneath the bright veneer of contemporary culture, at hinting at a sense of loss. Leaning against a wall are several tall glass panels featuring abstract swirls and tracks of paint, while around the edges are little cartoon feet, like the comic bRead more
The most prestigious photographic award exhibition in the country, which gives a top prize of £30,000 for the best exhibition or publication of the past year, returns with four new nominees: Nikolai Bakharev, Zanele Muholi, Viviane Sassen, Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse. The winner is announced on May 28. READ OUR PREVIEW OF THE FOUR NOMINEES HERERead more
A verdant lakeside scene is bordered by high-rises and a day at the beach is overlooked by an urban housing development. For his first show at the gallery, Gronsky presents images from his 'Pastoral' series that captures Moscow's suburbs. Filmic, uncanny and alluring, Gronsky’s photographs contemplate how people inhabit different spaces.Read more
One of the many sour points of Soho institution Madame Jojo's closing at the end of 2014 was the initial loss of much-loved mid-week club night White Heat. But after a storming NYE party, WH has found a new home at iconic north London music boozer and venue The Lexington. The White Heat crew have secured a weekly Friday night residency at the pub, featuring the same intoxicating mix of alternative dancefloor tracks of all shapes, primarily spun by resident DJs and special guests, but also supplied by rising underground bands in the occasional performances. So it seems that there's no cooling off for White Heat, which is a great thing indeed.Read more
It's been going for over twenty years, but this club night is still a hugely popular event. At the start of 2015, Blow Up found a new home at Soho basement venue St Moritz Club, where it now holds a weekly Friday residency. Luckily, there's still the same mix of DJs, including head honcho Paul Tunkin, spinning British pop, punk, boogaloo, new wave, Motown, mod anthems and soul from the '60s to the noughties, plus guest live performances from bands such as Big Boss Man and Slug. Super-groovy stuff.Read more
Read about the stats, facts, figures and fun stuff behind Summer Tales. One thing that helped London make it through the last few arduous winters was Night Tales, a fantastic pop-up party full of creative cocktails, street food, DJs spinning dancefloor-filling tunes and general good vibes. Luckily, you don't have to wait until winter to indulge in the fun once again, as the NT crew are back with an ace summer-themed pop-up for 15 whole weekends – welcome news indeed. As it's summer, there's a jungle theme in play, plush hammocks, rope swings and a 20m terrace to soak up the sun. Drinks are served at four bars, including the Lazy Flamingo Bar, where you can enjoy bespoke summery cocktails including a Mescal Mule and a Pin-Up Collada. As ever, food is a key part of the experience, and Summer Tales features all manner of culinary treats from top London eateries, including Burger and Lobster, seafood shack Bonnie Gull, Italian cuisine specialists Forza Win and cheese-blending warriors Morty & Bob's. The soundtracks for this summer extravaganza come from a range of talented DJs and musicians. The organisers are keeping things close to their chest and sticking largely to unannounced line-ups, but considering that Night Tales saw guests like Rudimental, Gorgon City and Will Saul, expect further great DJs to be knocking out stylish beats.Read more
Weekly big-name DJ line-ups – including some truly global megastars – belting out trance, twisted electro, EDM and big-room house anthems at this south London superclub. It's always an epic night and regularly attracts a suitably heaving and dedicated crowd.Read more
After a storming summer session last year and transforming itself into a winter hideaway, south London pop-up happening The Paperworks is back for another summer session, which will sadly be its last run before it closes. As ever, it's teeming with top tunes spun by great DJs, bespoke cocktails served across several bars, street food, film screenings, workshops, art and markets.It's located a few minutes away from top club Corsica Studios (who helped develop the project) and hosts various pre-parties and warm-up sessions for the many ace nights that take place there – crews from Trouble Vision, Tief, Love Glove, Tender Hooks and Sessions regularly appear at The Paperworks to spin house, disco, techno, funk, soul, R&B and straight-up dancefloor bangers. The final sweetner? It's free entry. Visit while you still can!Read more
This Aussie comic is half of two-man stand-up show 'Fear of a Brown Planet' with Aamer Rahman, which has already played multiple sell-out runs at Soho Theatre. Now, like Rahman, Nazeem Hussain is going solo, bringing his full-length show to London. The 28-year-old comic has his own TV show in his homecountry, and has recently supported Dave Chappelle on his Australian tour.Read more
Misanthropic Irish comedy superstar Dylan Moran is back on the road with his first UK stand-up tour for four years, and he’s stopping off at the Forum and Hammersmith Apollo for us Londoners. The creator of ‘Black Books’ and star of ‘Shaun of the Dead’ is a master at casually throwing out strange metaphors while sloshing glasses of red wine. There’s depth and intelligence behind his shambolic charm and curmudgeonly manner. (And, in case you’ve ever wondered, it’s ‘Moran’ as in ‘Sporran’. You’re welcome.)Read more
The title ‘Wembley Previews’ is a wonderful juxtaposition to Sheeps’s low-key style. This ace sketch trio – made up of Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Liam Williams, Daran Johnson and Alistair Roberts – are original, inventive and properly funny. A few years ago we said they were ‘one of the most exciting sketch acts to emerge in years’. ‘Thanks, guys,’ their website says, ‘We use this quote on basically everything even though it was about three years ago now.’ Yeah, we noticed. But it’s still true.Read more
Weirdos of London, unite! This late-night showcase of the most twisted, rude, shocking and just downright bizarre comedy and cabaret acts in town is back, for a sixth year. Expect filthy stand-ups, gross-out circus performers, glitzy cabaret acts and pretty much everything in between. As Missy Elliot would say: get your freak on.Read more
This long-established club (West London's only purpose-built comedy venue) regularly provides a fine night of stand-up. Two decades ago, £250,000 was spent converting an old warehouse behind the George IV pub into a 200-seat comedy club, and it was money ruddy well spent. For the latest line-ups, check 'dates and times'.Read more
Young Southend troubadour Duckworth started out in emo and hardcore bands, and then went on to tour as a folky one-man-and-his-guitar act under the guise of Get Cape Wear Cape Fly – which promptly evolved into one man, a guitar, a laptop and a six-strong band. Now he’s flying solo again, dipping into bits of his whole varied career.Read more
Venue says: Celebrate spring being in full swing from Friday 22nd-Monday 25th May at our Spring Haze beer festival.
Typical of the ETM chain, the Gun is an attractively spruced-up pub, with attentive staff and stiff prices. The focus is on making both diners and drinkers feel at home. The restaurant menu is available throughout – not just in the smartly dressed dining space – and there’s a standalone bar menu too. The handsome bar counter is lined with real ales (Adnams bitter is a regular, and there’s always a guest ale), but also offers cocktails and a global wine list. Cooking is assured, if not quite good enough to justify the prices: slow-cooked Middle White pork belly with battered skate knobs, carrot purée, sprout tops and ginger and port jus cost £19 for a small portion – making sides such as chips or dauphinoise potatoes a neccessity. Also, £9 seemed a lot for a (not very) devilled chicken liver starter. Better value is to be found on the bar menu, where £7.50 buys a substantial ‘fish finger sandwich’ (more like goujons in toast) served with plenty of tartare sauce, and a decent steak sandwich with caramelised onions and horseradish cream is £9.50. Lightly themed (prints and a few antique pistols), with wooden floors, white walls and an open fire, the Gun is a fine spot in any weather, but its USP is the terrace. Refurbished in spring 2013 with fold-back glass panels, this is right on the river, looking out over the O2. Neophytes, beware – the pub can be tricky to find first time around. For more ETM pubs, go to their website.